Editor's note: The story is written by Thanh Binh, in response to the ‘Saigon River Development Plan’ contest, an open forum for readers to contribute their ideas and solutions to develop the Saigon River and surrounding urban areas in Ho Chi Minh City.
The contest is co-organized by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on the occasion of this year’s Reunification Day (April 30).
Ho Chi Minh City has a dense network of rivers and canals that cannot be compared with anywhere else. If developed to its full potential, this network will surely become a spotlight, attracting lots of domestic and foreign tourists.
Visitors are currently more inclined to explore natural beauty, enjoy the fresh air, and use services with affordable prices.
Ho Chi Minh City is home to many places that offer just what tourists need, namely Thanh Da peninsula, Binh Quoi tourist area, along with riverside food brands and outdoor sports and fitness activities.
Binh Quoi has been the favorite spot for local families to visit, have fun, and enjoy buffets on weekends.
The ferry wharf located next to the tourist sites has also made it easier for people from Thu Duc City to travel there.
I propose the construction of a bridge connecting the two banks of the Rach Chiec River near this ferry wharf to meet rising travel demand.
From the end of this bridge in Thu Duc City, people will be just a short distance away from the last stop of the Bach Dang - Linh Dong waterbus route.
After boarding the waterbus and enjoying the view of the river, visitors will arrive in District 1 where they can take a stroll along Nguyen Hue Promenade, drop by two nearby metro stations, and explore the city’s center.
Following a visit to the Independence Palace in District 1, foreign tourists often come to Cu Chi Tunnels and Ben Duoc Temple in Cu Chi District, thus it is urgent to establish a waterbus route connecting these two districts.
A good combination of waterway and land transportation will certainly bring about a lot of benefits.
From Cu Chi District, tourists can continue their trip to neighboring Tay Ninh Province, visit the historical relic Nga Ba Giong in Hoc Mon District, or return to Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Tan Binh District for their flights.
Launching floating markets in certain canals can also contribute to enriching tourism products in the city.
With a river flowing through the heart of the city, Ho Chi Minh City has all it needs to promote a tourism brand with distinctive features and diverse attractions to charm both new tourists and returning visitors.